Friday, December 10, 2010

Overdrive eBooks!

The day has finally arrived! ...well, it arrived a while ago; but still! The library's source for audiobook downloads (OVERDRIVE) has now unleashed it's eBooks upon us! This is probably my favourite library service so far, and I'm giddy just writing about it! So, let me just explain the Overdrive website. It allows you to check out an audiobook or eBook from the website. Now, Overdrive is a project that is made possible by the Ontario Ministry of Culture's $15 Million Investment in Public Libraries. Let me just say, for one of the few times it may actually be said, thank you Ontario Government.

On Wednesday (my day off, I may add) I came into work to attend a webinar for our staff to learn about Overdrive's new technology. The webinar was called "Browse, Checkout, Download", and that's really how simple it is.
But (and there is ALWAYS a but), you can only download the eBooks from your own personal computer and not any of the library's computers. That isn't a complete let-down because, even if you don't actually have an e-reader, you can still read the books on your computer (which I didn't even know.) If that still doesn't work for you, then the library purchased 2 Sony Readers for patrons to check out.

You start by going to the Overdrive website (through the Powassan Library's homepage) and you log in using your library card number (And we'll trick you here! Start from the end, exclude the very last number and then use the 5 digits before that). Example Card Number: 12345000012309<-- The underlined numbers are your actual library card number. Tricky right? We like to confuse everyone, including ourselves.

First things first, you have to download the Adobe Digital Edition software (left hand side of the Overdrive website, under Digital Software). I'm thinking that you may only have to download the software if you don't already have an ereader because when I downloaded ebooks from Overdrive, they would automatically open in my Sony Reader Library, but this may not happen to everyone... But when you download Adobe Digital Editions, you'll have to make an Adobe ID and Authorize YOUR computer.

After you've signed in, you can start browsing, and you've completed Step 1 of "Browse, Checkout, Download." When it comes to browsing eBook titles, you have to consider the format. There are 2 formats on the Overdrive site; EPUB and PDF. Now, from what I've learned, the only difference between the two is that EPUB is designed for reflowable content (you can change the text size easily) and PDF is better for graphic novels (and can make zooming in on the text very tricky). Once you've gotten a title that you're interested in and a format that is supported by your reader device (there is a list of supported devices on the Overdrive site), then you click on the title. This page should bring you to the book's information. So, you read the info and you decide "Hey, this sounds great. I want to read it!" Chances are, you will have to be added to a waiting list; now remember, this is Ontario-wide so don't get angry if there is a waiting list. But, if you're lucky and the book is available right away, you just add it to your cart. Once a book has been added to your cart, you can either continue browsing or just check out. Let's say that you're done browsing (you want to read your book already!), you've added the book to your cart; so go to your cart (along the top you'll see the heading My Cart) and then proceed to checkout (at the bottom). At the checkout page, you can choose a lending period of either 7 or 14 days, and then under Important Notes (which lets you know how many more books you can checkout--the answer: 5 at a time) you 'Confirm check out'. Step 2, complete! Here comes Step 3! This brings you to a download page (make sure you have the Adobe Digital Editions software!), and you click download and then either Open or Save. Now mine, I have to click open and it automatically opens into my Sony software. So if that doesn't work, then Save it and open your Adobe Digital. Once inside Adobe, you'll see the word Library at the top; click it and then 'Add item to Library' and find your book..wherever you have saved it. So once you see your book in the library, then you're all set!
So whether you want to save a few trees, the weather is too bad to visit the library, or you just don't feel like leaving the house, eBooks are a fantastic technology to have access to!  So, BROWSE, CHECKOUT, DOWNLOAD... AND ENJOY!

To get back to the Powassan and District Library website:


  1. This is fantastic news!
    I just downloaded Eat, Pray, Love to my Kobo e-reader.

  2. If you haven't yet mastered Overdrive eBooks and audiobooks, but you're interested in the service, call the library at 724-3618. We're having frequent classes on this topic in the next little while, and would love to help you out. You don't even have to have purchased an eReader to take the class... we have purchased two Sony eReaders at the library that you will be able to check out shortly.